Queen of fashion: Collection of monarch's outfits go on display at Hillsborough Castle
The royal wardrobe – or at least some of it – has arrived from Windsor Castle.
Six of the Queen's outfits, which she has worn on visits to both Northern Ireland and the Republic, today went on display at Hillsborough Castle.
Five of the outfits designed by Angela Kelly and one by Karl Ludwig will be on show in the throne room of Hillsborough Castle until September 29.
As part of the tour, visitors can see for themselves the outfits worn by Her Majesty.
The staff at Hillsborough Castle hope that more people will come and visit because of the exhibition.
Patricia Corbett, project director at Hillsborough Castle, said: "The public have an opportunity not only to come and see the six outfits worn by the Queen in her visits to the Republic of Ireland and the north of Ireland in 2012, but they are seeing them exhibited in what is the royal residence in Northern Ireland.
"It is an enchanting castle in terms of its history and it has the most beautiful gardens. We feel privileged and honoured that we have been allowed to borrow these dresses from Her Majesty's private collection." Hats are very important for the royal wardrobe and Grainne Maher, a local milliner who has been in the fashion industry since 2009, said: "All six hats are a very similar, classic design with a short brim and fabric covered crown, and trimmed with arrowhead quills. Her Majesty obviously knows what she likes and Angela Kelly is an expert at reinventing the style over and over." Local fashionista Zara Beggs, who is one half of the boutique Candy Plum, was in awe at the outfits that have gone on show.
She said: "Her style would be very simple, but as you can see she likes a little bit of a twist, so some of them have a bit of lace or embroidery on them."
Welcoming the exhibition to Hillsborough, Secretary of State Theresa Villiers said: "Hillsborough Castle is the Queen's official residence in Northern Ireland, full of royal and political history.
"I hope that both local people and tourists visiting the exhibition also take the opportunity to tour the beautiful house and gardens and find out for themselves why Hillsborough is such a special place."
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